SENS OF PLACE
A sense of place is a unique collection of qualities and characteristics – visual, cultural, social, and environmental – that provide meaning to a location.
Footscray is an inner-western suburb of Melbourne. It is characterized by a very diverse, multicultural central shopping area, which reflects the successive waves of immigration experienced by Melbourne, and by Footscray in particular.
Through the semester I’ve been researching migrant groups and their rituals in Footscray. I found myself wanting to create an adaptable place where more than one culture can come together and enjoy the same space, in multiple ways according to their needs.
Footscray station is the heart of Footscray, it’s a busy train station with over 11 thousand people passing through on a weekday. The Station is located across the street from the popular footscray market where the locals come and shop their fresh fruits and vegetables, or just wonder about or socialize in the cafeteria. In many cases train stations or car parks can be classed as non places, in Footscrays instance the adaptive and necessary use of the area brings a definite character, that is specific to Footscray.
Elderly people are often forgotten and excluded from the everyday social life’s. Research has shown that social isolation constitutes a major risk factor for depression and mortality, especially in older adults. That is why I wanted to place them in the midst of everything, in the most bustling area in Footscray, the train station, to avoid social disconnection for the elderly. They are put right back into society and encouraged to take part in it, for example by selling their produce in the flower shop on the ground floor, that they can grow in their private and joint vegetation areas. By placing the building on top of Footscray station it has the benefit of potentially making the station feel safer being occupied 24/7 with the safety of neighbourhood watch.